What you describe in the OP resembles the GENIVI project a lot. I don't have a lot of incites into how they work, but pushing a standard set of hardware and software is their main goal.
I would love to see LinuxICE be chosen as a standard platform. This is really what I've been working for for years now. Sure, right now it runs nGhost, but there's no reason at all it can't run RevFE, OpenMobile, or even CF3 (which Flux is supposedly working on a Linux version). I've even been in talks with malcom about creating a spinoff that features RevFE as default instead of nGhost. LinuxICE is really IMHO (biased of course) the best solution out there right now for carPCs, it combines tech from all the opensource projects including moblin and maemo and bends them to fit the vehicly demands.
So fluxmedia, rr, etc, if you are listening and want to remain competitive in this space, the time to act is now. It's only a matter of time before Google, Nokia, MS, and maybe even Apple wake up and smell the Benjamins. Your days will be numbered if you think that writing a frontend that sits on top of windows is ever going to be able to compete with a complete platform which is, I promise, what the "big dogs" will be doing.
Thanks to everybody who is participating in this thread!
BugByte and kev000 my carpc heros!
Ok, a little over dramatic but, honestly, I do respect what you 2 are doing!!
Actually the idea for this thread came from you guys!
soundman98 and chronoglass are right.
However, kev000, just getting people motivated to get going is not really going to make it. (errr, no pun intended)
What I'm trying to do here is create an alliance of some sort. All of you developers who have been pioneering this hobby really should be out their getting your credit. Because it really is due! However, at the moment because you are all splintered and work to achieve the same goals are going to loose ground to folks who have deeper pockets and more time.
IF my hardware skills were beyond installation or IF my programming ability was beyond just the web I swear I'd helping you guys, but my skills aren't. However, I'm willing to help in other ways.
I'm imagining a system like OSX. Simple to install, use and is good enough for the masses. However, since OSX is still BSD (*nix) you can still sit down and use the terminal just like the rest of the linux crowd. I would love to see Apple step up to the plate on this but ... I'm not too interested in seeing Jobso ruling it with an iron fist either ... (ps, I'm a mac fanboi)
The hardest part to an alliance will be willing to communicate and work as a group project. Also, possibly agreeing on dumping M$ as the main OS. And the last deal breaker will be coming up with applications that work in *nix.
So, what do guys say? Would you be up for alliance?
Sorry to "crash this party" but I think there are a few points that should be mentioned (and i didn't see 'em yet).
The idea that Microsoft or Google or the others will drop everything to invest in one of these front ends is fantasy at best. The same features are invented again and again with little forward progress in the last 3-5 years. Microsoft has Sync, Google has android, apple has the iPhone. All of these currently put to shame the feature set of any of the major FEs or FE Os's (just being realistic).
I'm a little short on time so im going with bullet form here:
- The majority of the CarPC community is windows based and quite content with their choice. While linux is picking up steam, it will be quite some time before users abandon the windows platform (they like their navigation, and other windows based software that does not run on linux)
- The CarPC hobby is not a high income market, while it is a niche market that may see some corporate involvement it is not even close to something any of the big guys will be bothered with
- A carPC has at least 5x the processing power of the best smart phones and yet uses almost none of it. Bluetooth support in the current FEs is laughable (no a2dp, avrcp, pbap, sync, etc.). Integration is terrible from even the basic architecture perspective (many FEs are just not designed for an integrated feel). Plugins tend to be a hacked together version of someone elses work or fall into legal grey-area. Navigation support being a great example of that, the only FE with integrated navigation is streetdeck the rest embed another application which leads to terrible integration if any (Yes I know nGhost has navit but its a long way from being something usable). Speech recognition (which could be the major selling point of a carPC) is an awful attempt to follow the big guys instead of actually innovating. On Linux, decent speech recognition just doesn't exist.
- The new major FEs currently under development all focus on different areas and aim to fulfill different goals. It's very unrealistic to think that such different design philosophy's will all come to some mutual agreement. A 5 second forum search should yield you dozens of conversations on this topic.
theres more but thats all I can think of at the moment
on the point that its a fantasy... not entirely true.
one example of a guy that created a simple plugin that got picked up by microsoft. (though i don't believe they bought the license for his software, just him)
Though sync is from all accounts really nice (what i wouldn't give to get my hands on a dump of that bugger!) I can't say i see any of the companies being above buying out software or devs that are in an emerging market.. and this most certianly is an emerging market. just as home media servers were a mere few years ago.
though even more likely is that the features created by these plugins and apps will be duplicated hopefully giving us what we have been trying to create in the first place.
An emerging market?? Look at how old these forums are. Compare activity today to 3 years ago. I have info from a few different hardware distributors that say carPCs are actually starting to fade rather then grow. A nice sized chunk of the market is moving towards fully mobile solutions (aka smart phones) which accomplish quite a bit more without the cost or the hassle. Ignoring the huge shortcomings I pointed out will not make them go away. If carPCs are to thrive and again become the cutting edge products they once were, these holes need to be filled!!
hmm... I guess in my lazily reading of this thread i skimmed over the premise of one of the big dogs picking up one of us. I don't see that happening. Maybe MS will buy fluxmedia (big companies buy up little companies all the time to expand into the market), but MS already has sync so meh.
That doesn't mean that there can't be greater collaboration however. Especially from those companies that are trying to make money at this hobby.
Getting everyone to group hug on a standard platform is a dream at best. It totally depends on what CF and RR want to do. They drive this hobbiest market.
I see OSDash as a great way to collaborate on innovation that's platform independent. We'll see if the FE dev's pick up on it.
Furthermore, CarPCs take too much time and effort to ever grow really big. The big bux will be in getting in good with the OEMs: the auto mfgs (ie GM) and the big aftermarket guys (ie, pioneer).
to that same end : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XBMC_Media_Center - development STOPPED in 2003, i don't even know when people started with the idea of having a media server in their house, but i can say i started with that around 12 years ago.. and in the last few years every major computer manufacturer has made a media server solution, some based on linux, some based on windows home server (which was created expressly for this purpose)
the ebb and flow of people and projects in that "not emerging market" were and still are astronomical. but imagine when Microsoft makes sync available. 199.99 license for oem's(seems to be their standard). Then basically you end up in a situation where all these little things that kinda work fade away. Apple issues a "me too" icar mountable solution that will sync with the ipod touch and iphone via bluetooth and require an "icare". Then the major computer manufacturers start pushing out car stereo equipment. Hello Hp mediasmart car appliance.
but really, i guess this isn't argument for or against your statement.. it's more of the way of things. BUT i can say that the windows homeserver wouldn't have had half of the capabilities it had IF the xbmc had never cropped up and shown MS how it's done, and what needed to be done.
XBMC just had a release 7 months ago according to the same article. Is it really dead? They just stopped using windows and turned it into a complete Linux distro. Hmm, sounds familiar.
Originally Posted by chronoglass
If GENIVI is successful, most car mfg will be running a moblin flavored Linux coolaid and the carpc hobby get smaller and smaller because "my car i just bought from the shop already does *everything* that I want". There are a lot of aftermarket companies jumping on the GenIVI bandwagon also.
Read carefully Xbox Media Player stopped development in 2003 to become xbox media center! ;) I've actually done quite a bit of work with one of their rival products. At the time xbmc came into being there were 3 other similar products. Microsoft began design for Windows Media Center before any of them were even released so sorry but Microsoft didn't take notes from anyone on that. The inspiration came about from hardware capabilities finally reaching the point where it was possible.
Originally Posted by chronoglass
Also last i heard sync was about $100 a piece because of about $25 in hardware costs. Considering the price most manufacturers charge there is a massive profit margin (hence the reason it was chosen).
heh, you did it tooo! nyeah. I was talking about windows home server, which came about because of xbmc which came about because of xbmp.
Originally Posted by justchat_1
and yeah, im sure it's pretty cheap to the ACTUAL oems, but when newegg gets those OEM licenses for us regular folk to buy they'll be 199.99 ha ha ha (because they have to license more drivers to work with "unknown hardware" of course)